Working with publicists and promo agents can be an enriching, but also difficult endeavor.
As a DIY musician or producer you might have the right peers around you, helping out with important insights while keeping you out of harm’s way. Chances are high though, that you are sailing alone, trying to generate some buzz.
To help you find your way through this promo-jungle, I’ve compiled some facts that might indicate if a promo publicist is the right choice and a solid match.
Be aware that these are just personal thoughts based on experiences that I have made along the line of working with various professionals. Each work-style is unique, so keep an open mind.
Sincerely interested professionals will listen to your story FIRST
A solid indicator for someone being genuinely interested in your work is patience while taking the time of actually listening to your story, thoughts and insights. Pitching a personal agenda and strategy is obviously a central part of getting to know someone professionally, but seasoned pros – especially those not desperate for every job out there – will make sure your profile and mindset as an artist will actually work with their groove.
So – don’t be rattled by the fact that a publicist takes initial time to actually let you talk while staying quiet and observate. That’s a good sign of someone really taking in the situation and person he or she is dealing with.
Discourse is a strong foundation for productive work
Being able to discuss over a broad variety of issues, like direction of outreach, is a sign of trust and reflective capacity. If your publicist engages in productive discourse with you, respecting your opinion while offering supportive advice, it can be a great sign of future cooperative work.
A relationship where both parties can actually stand up to their opinion while treating each other with respect is worth a lot – by doing so, you demonstrate a definite level of honesty and transparency. Often a clearly stated opinion, even if it differs from your own, is more worth than constant consent and recursive affirmation.
Check out the artist roster without giving in to blind trust
Having big names on an artist roster can mean a variety of things. Try not to make the mistake of assuming a professional is working exclusively with an artist, even if that artist is enlisted on their vita. Contractual obligations vary greatly, and many people package tiny services as major contributions. You don’t really know how tight and thorough the relationship between a given artist and publicist is, so try not to build strategic decisions entirely on this fact.
Be aware of the fact that an artist roster is just as much part of the pitch as honeypotting a strategic outlook concerning your next release. Stay streetsmart.
People in the business know people
Even if a business relationship runs sour, don’t go out and start talking trash about the person you worked with. The success of promotional work is connected to a variety of factors, and a competent publicists is only one part of that. A good publicist goes out, networks, gets into various scenes and knows a lot of people. But that’s not a golden ticket to success. Furthermore, chances are high they are cool with quite a broad range of individuals, probably even competitors.
So, it would definitely be a mistake to walk around town, bickering to other agents about frustrating experiences with certain professionals, call it negative namedropping. It will start any new relationship with bad vibes, maybe even turn-off other publicists from even wanting to work with you.
If your music hot, you’ll find a new agent and start cruising from there.
Try to get media feedback
Standard reportings only deliver a yes/no response to a given release. Talk to your publicist and try to work out a way of receiving at least minimal detail on why your submissions are rejected. Even if your promo-campaign turns out to run below your expectations, you’ll be able to get some insights on the way certain media tastemakers work and how they perceive your music.
Submithub is great tool for receiving individual feedback on tracks and releases. Even though the service is limited to blog-submissions and not radio or print media, you can get a good look at how detailed reportings might turn out.
Ask your publicist about reporting-details prior to finalizing the financial deal. Be sure to get exactly the service you are expecting!
Well, these few tips should help you out while choosing and working with your first publicist or if you’re considering trying out various options.
Leave a comment if you gathered some interesting experiences, or feel free to ask with an individual issue. We’ll be glad to get back to you asap!0 be the first one to show some appreciation for this!